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Heavy rains in Bihar, Jharkhand cause floods in Bengal

Barely a week before harvest season farmers in Bengal have been hit by floods following heavy rainfall in neighbouring states.

kolkata Updated: Oct 12, 2017 19:39 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times
West Bengal,Floods,Murshidabad
Part of the Bharatpur-Kandi state highway that has been flooded. (Sreyasi Pal/ HT Photo)

Water level in several rivers such as the Ajay, Mayurakshi, Dwaraka and Kopai has risen alarmingly in Bengal following heavy rainfall in Bihar and Jharkhand over the past few days. The rivers are flowing above danger level, leading to inundation in different parts of West Midnapore and Birbhum districts. Even parts of Howrah, Nadia and East Burdwan districts were affected after excess water was released by the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) through its dams.

The worst affected areas in East Burdwan are Guskara and Ausgram, the rice bows of the district. Farmers are fearing severe loss because the disaster has hit them barely a week before harvest time.

Read : North Bengal districts remain cut off as heavy rain and fuming rivers flood towns, railway tracks, highways

Ferry services between East Burdwan and Nadia district have been suspended by the authorities. Movement of vehicles have been affected in parts of the Bharatpur-Kandi state highway in Murshidabad.

Officials in the state irrigation department said Bengal frequently suffers because of heavy rainfall in Bihar and Jharkhand. “When water rises in the rivers in these two states the authorities start releasing water through the dams. As a result, large parts of West Bengal get inundated,” said an official. The rainfall was caused by a depression that developed over the Bay of Bengal. Several parts of Bengal received heavy rainfall over the past four days.

Part of Barwan in Bengal’s Murshidababd district. ( Sreyasi Pal/ HT Photo )

Bengal irrigation minister Rajib Banerjee said his department as well as the disaster management department were keeping a close watch over the situation and a 24- hour helpline had been opened at a control room in the state secretariat.

Incidentally, the disaster has hit Bengal during harvest season. Farmers are apprehending severe damage to paddy. “Farmers usually start harvesting after Diwali. Their fears are genuine,” said an agriculture department official.

Read: Bengal flood: IAF chopper winches 9 marooned villagers in dramatic rescue operation

In Murshidabad district, vast areas in Kandi sub- division got inundated on Wednesday after water was released from the dams at Tilpara and Massanjore in Jharkhand.

A senior officer in Murshidabad district administration said the situation in Kandi sub-division started deteriorating after Wednesday evening. “Several villages in Barwan and Bharatpur I and II blocks have been flooded. The situation in Bharatpur-I block is quite serious. Several houses have been damaged. More than 100 families were evacuated till Wednesday,” he said.

First Published: Oct 12, 2017 19:39 IST